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Opinion: COVID, Cornhuskin’ and Change, Oh My!

Many people were surprised to hear that I attended Cornhuskin’, given my usual hesitation at participating in Meredith traditions and events. However, something about Cornhuskin’ has always intrigued me. I was excited to attend another in-person Cornhuskin’, but taken aback by some of the changes. While I understand that some changes were necessary to comply with community standards, others could have been avoided.

I’m not sure if the low number of people in attendance was due to the swift change in date, the cold temperatures or the guidelines set in place to limit the amount of people in the amphitheater. However, I think all graduating classes could have been accommodated in the amphitheater. Without everyone there, Cornhuskin’ seemed to lack the unity that it is supposed to ‘promote’. The cheers and chants were quieter, which made me sad because that is one of my favorite parts of attending Cornhuskin’. How will future students know these chants if they have never experienced them?

One change that I didn’t mind was the lack of apple bobbing and corn shucking. Despite being a part of the Cornhuskin’ tradition these always felt like a bit of a waste of time and often didn’t garner much interest from the audience. While the donning of raincoats and goggles for apple bobbing was amusing, I don’t think this is a part of Cornhuskin’ that will return and by all means — good riddance.

A similarity between pre-COVID and COVID-19 Cornhuskin’ was the inclusion of the Bathtub Ring. Despite the freezing cold, heavy emotion that comes with senior year Cornhuskin’ and being short one member, they performed well. I know “Wonderland” brought tears to more eyes than just my own.

A major difference between this year and years past is the announcement of winners. With the movement of Can Art, determining a winner on Friday night was impossible. However, this doesn’t stop me from complaining about it. Awaiting the results of the week’s worth of work was part of the fun! Not announcing results the night of did prevent my toes from becoming entirely numb with the cold, so I guess there was at least one positive to this change.

My final observation about this year’s Cornhuskin’ was the lack of confetti. This may not be related to COVID-19, but rather the environmental impact that confetti can have. Given the recent lake restoration and present wildlife, it makes sense to not release confetti. However, maybe they could have created a cool confetti effect with the lights? Needless to say, the confetti was missed.

By Elinor Shelp-Peck, Co-Editor in Chief


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